General Tom Kha arrives in Lille with his “sexy and spicy” street food from Southeast Asia

General Tom Kha, with his “spicy and sexy” recipes, will take the inhabitants of Lille on a journey through Southeast Asia. (©HM/Lille News)

Bánh mì, fried chicken, curry and other star dishes of the Southeast Asian street food. This is what the map will look like general tom khafuture restaurant which will open at 9, rue du Molinel, a stone’s throw from Lille-Flandres station. Martin Van Inghelandt, a 24-year-old northern chef with a passion for flavors from elsewhere, intends to take the people of Lille on a journey with Spicy and sexy recipes.

From MOF, to starry, to street-food

Opening a street food restaurant was not in Martin’s career plans, destined to take over the family business. “I am the son of a butcher-charcutier-catering in Hazebrouck. I studied in Paris with a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, worked in many restaurants and wine bars. I worked 6 months in Australia with a chef who had 10 years of Michelin stars behind him. In short, a golden resume for the young chef who started cooking at the age of 15. And a solid experience to succeed mom and dad.

Finally, it was during another trip to Asia that everything changed. “Since I was little I have had the opportunity to travel every year, to Thailand, to Vietnam… But one day in Kuala Lumpur, they slapped me! “, she remembers. Upon her return to France, she decided to chart her own course. “As a cook, what I love is helping people discover new flavors. And not to perpetually redo the same things. »

like in bangkok

Martin then sets out to find a ready-made place to house his future restaurant. He sets his sights on the former Aux Indes Express restaurant, near the Lille-Flandres train station. Still at work, he will completely transform the place to give it a completely different atmosphere. “There will be an atmosphere like in Bangkok, with neon lights, a corrugated iron bar, a real atmosphere that I bought there and brought on a scooter, and with Thai music. »

The chef wants at all costs to get away from the caricatures of Asian restaurants. “I want customers to feel the same way I do when I’m in a small restaurant there. I have the image of a general or a policeman, sitting nonchalantly in his chair. This is what inspired me for the name and logo of the restaurant. »

Thai cuisine but not only!

Tom kha, another part of the establishment’s name, is that of a Thai dish. “It is a broth infused with galangal, kefir leaves and green curry paste. However, Martin does not want to focus on Thai cuisine. He leaves himself free to explore many Southeast Asian recipes.

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Thus we will find bánh mì, the famous Vietnamese sandwiches, fried chicken, red curry… “The menu will change as often as possible, depending on the ingredients, the seasons and my mood. The goal is to have fun! »

Don’t expect a long list of dishes. Since everything is fresh and homemade, the menu will be deliberately short. But always with a vegetarian and even vegan proposal.

As for the prices, Martin is still fine-tuning them, but promises affordable prices for quality dishes. Finally, General Tom Kha’s offer will be available first for takeout and delivery. Le Nordiste hopes to open at the end of July to break down his menu. The restaurant, which has about 30 seats, should be able to receive customers from September.

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